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After Bennett, Who's Next In Club For Growth Crosshairs?

** Update: The Club has revised its assessment of Sen. LeMieux, who "voted perfectly" since joining the Senate, but does not have enough votes to qualify for a full ranking. His score has been changed to "NA," and the story below has be revised to reflect that change.

The Club for Growth claimed a major victory this month when Sen. Bob Bennett failed to qualify for the GOP primary ballot at the state party convention. So today, as the Club unveils their annual Congressional scorecard, it's worth noting that seven Republicans scored worse than the Utah Republican in the rankings.

With a score of 79 percent, Bennett just barely makes the top third of the Senate as a whole. Three of the Republicans behind him are retiring or have already left the Senate: George Voinovich (74 percent), Judd Gregg (73 percent) and Mel Martinez (73 percent). The remaining four don't face voters for at least another two years: Richard Lugar (76 percent), Lamar Alexander (64 percent), Susan Collins (60 percent) and Olympia Snowe (53 percent). Given those scores, however, should they be girding for a challenge from their right? The Club for Growth says it's too early to speculate.

"If Utah shows anything, it's that all 99 of the other ones should be worried," spokesman Mike Connolly says. "They're all in trouble if they think they're going to be able to keep things going exactly as they are."

All but one Republican earned a higher score in 2009 than in 2008, while far more saw double digit improvements in their Club for Growth rating. But that list includes Bennett (16 percent increase), who still saw himself targeted this year.

"Since the Democrats have taken over, the Republicans have generally voted better, because they tend to be against what the Democrats put up," Connolly said. "The problem is when Republicans were in charge, were they still standing up, or were they going along with their leadership?"

Even as said the organization is not looking beyond the primaries this year, Connolly unprompted mentioned names like Orrin Hatch and Lindsay Graham as we perused this year's rankings. Club For Growth is not targeting any other incumbents this year, but has endorsed two seeking re-election: Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn. Both received perfect a 100 percent scores this year.

Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) is also benefiting from the organization he once chaired. So how would the group react now if Sen. Arlen Specter (D) loses his primary race tomorrow?

"Our mission all along has been to get Pat Toomey elected to the Senate. Specter is the Democrats problem now," Connolly said.